Today, for the second time this month, a group of Ringling College students and alumni will visit an area elementary school to distribute Always period products. Today, Dec. 14, the group will visit Electa Lee Middle School in Bradenton, Florida. Last week, on Dec. 7, the group visited Ballard Elementary School also in Bradenton.
The distributions are part of a national initiative by Always to fight period poverty, the lack of access to menstrual products many girls and young women face in school that results in educational inequality, lost opportunities, and confidence.
The company selected Code Red as a Period Hero following the release of the film and donated 50,000 Always pads to the team to be distributed to schools across Florida.Code Red is Ringling College’s whimsical, coming-of-age short film that confronts the prevalent issue of period poverty.
Writer/director Jada Wing Hang Poon ’20, Film, wrote Code Red as a senior and came back post-graduation and post-COVID to direct the film with a team of cast, crew, and financial backers who shared her passion in telling this important story. The film has won multiple awards and been selected for multiple film festivals across the US and internationally.
Alumni Kat Mullen ’20, who produced Code Red, along with other members of the crew, including Film students Celi Mitidieri ’24, Milena Montero ’24, and Darci Howell ’23, will be distributing Always products to regional organizations through the new year.
Period Heroes are people and organizations doing extraordinary work in their local communities to help #EndPeriodPoverty. Research shows that one in five girls in the U.S. have missed school due to lack of access to period products. This means they are missing confidence-boosting activities like class time, sports and extra-curricular activities simply because they do not have access to the period products they need.
“Although the girls in Code Red go on a whimsical adventure to find a pad, they’re still missing class because they don’t have easy access to period products,” said Poon. “My hope is that Code Red fuels conversations between young people and their communities, encouraging them to end period stigma and take action in their local schools and politics to affect change for future generations.”
Since 2018, Always has donated more than 65 million period products to help #EndPeriodPoverty in the U.S. – but there is still work to be done. This year, Always, alongside the 50 Period Heroes, will distribute 2.5 million pads to help young people stay in confidence-boosting activities they love.